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Considering Self-Publishing? You Might Want to Do This First

On The Write Life, gives his thoughts on the traditional versus self-publishing options for writers and why he thinks authors should try traditional publishing first.  Do you agree with him? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Considering Self-Publishing? You Might Want to Do This First

There are different ways to get your work published, but the biggest two options in today’s marketplace are still the following:

Publishing contract

Traditional publishing: You sell your work to a publishing house, like Simon & Schuster or HarperCollins. The publisher typically pays you money up front in the deal, then distributes the book in print and e-book forms.

Self-publishing: This method allows you to publish your work independently, without anyone judging your work. You’re in charge of everything. A common website people do this is through Amazon’s CreateSpace.

I could talk about all the nitty-gritty elements to both publishing options — the pros and cons, the ins and outs — but that would take you hours to read. So instead, I’ll just focus this post on one simple question: If you’re unsure what path to take concerning these two major publishing options, what should you do?

Which publishing method should you try first?

If you are truly on the fence concerning which path to take, you should always try traditional publishing first — period.

I’ll tell you why.

It’s because if you send your work out to agents first but hit walls, you can always self-publish it afterward with nothing lost. Easy peasy. But if you self-publish it first and then seek an agent for it later, you’re setting up a very difficult task.

Let’s say you have a novel. You send it to an agent who is open to submissions. When the agent reviews your query and first pages, they are asking themselves the following: “Can this person write well? Is this an interesting story? Can I sell this?”

An agent will take a long critical look at your writing, and it’s not easy finding a rep who loves your voice and your book.

When an agent reviews a self-published book, it gets more complicated. They’re asking themselves the following: “Can this person write well? Is this an interesting story? Can I sell this? And why does this book deserve a second life via traditional publishing?

Read the full post on The Write Life

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